The Top 5 Countries with the Highest Prisoner Rates

  Country Prison Population Rate Total Prison Population
1 United States 756 per 100,000 2,293,157
2 Russian Federation 629 per 100,000 891,738
3 Rwanda 604 per 100,000 58,598
4 St. Kitts & Nevis 588 per 100,000 232
5 Cuba 531 per 100,000 60,000
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  1. The US incarcerates at a rate 4 to 7 times higher than other western nations such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany and up to 32 times higher than nations with the lowest rates such as Nepal, Nigeria, and India.
  2. Almost three fifths of countries around the world (59%) have rates below 150 per 100,000.
  3. More than 9.8 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or as sentenced prisoners. Almost half of these are in the United States (2.29m), Russia (0.89m) or China (1.57m sentenced prisoners). A further 850,000 are held in 'administrative detention' in China; if these are included the overall Chinese total is over 2.4 million and the world total over 10.65 million.
  4. The US has 183,400 women in prison - at least 3 times more than any other nation.
  5. Some individual US states imprison up to six times as many people as do nations of comparable population.
Top 5 facts sources: World Prison Population List (eighth edition) Roy Walmsley., Research from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency: US Rates of Incarceration: A Global Perspective, November 2006.
Tags: People, Top 5 Highest, Crime & Punishment Statistics

Sources:  International Centre for Prison Studies: World Prison Population List (eighth edition) Roy Walmsley.

List Notes: Data is for the year 2008. Rate is prison population per 100,000 of national population.
Countries with the Highest Prisoner Rates

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